Thursday, September 11, 2008

Book number 2

I began writing, or perhaps a better word is assembling, another book today.

My PCT book has a first-draft done. All the journal and blog entries in all their boring detail are combined into one giant text document. Being a reformed geek, I used TextWrangler, a text editor designed for programming. There are over 2000 lines of text. Paragraphs are all on one line. It's a huge document. I hope to take a writing class and get some tips on polishing the text so that it is not completely boring before I bother to try to assemble the book.

Meanwhile, I thought I should practice laying out a book. There is an online self-publishing service that lets you put together your own book using Microsoft Word or Open Office. I have Open Office. Actually, I have Neo Office. I hope that it will work. I have not used Neo Office much so I have a lot to learn. Some things have been a little frustrating.

My book number 2 is the hard-copy version of my other web site. In the process of copying and pasting the text from the site into my book I'm learning about how to properly create a table of contents, lists and other text formatting. I already knew how in Word so it's only a matter of learning how it's done the Neo Office way. I'm also fixing a lot of typos on my web site. Attention to typos isn't one of my strongest skills.

This second book looks like it will be very long, too. I may have to make two volumes in order to keep the price down. That may actually appeal to people.

I plan to spiral bind it so that it is more useful in the field. I get very annoyed at books that are intended for reference, such as cookbooks or music books, that have perfect binding. They won't lay open to the page you are looking at so you constantly fuss with balancing heavy objects on top in order to make use of the book. I have even resorted to taking some books to Kinko's and having them cut the binding off and put spiral binding on instead. Sometimes this works and sometimes there is not enough margin to do it.

It is good to be productive and moving toward setting up some passive income streams. However, sitting in front of a computer all day does not feel productive. It feels lazy.

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